Yorgen Fenech lawyers file report for police investigation into Melvin Theuma ‘lies’

Yorgen Fenech defence files criminal complaint alleging Melvin T heuma’s testimony in court on Keith Schembri contradicts his own statements in secret recordings

The lawyers of Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech are requesting that the police investigate the testimony Melvin Theuma has given in court against the man accused of masterminding the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. 

Fenech’s lawyers say Theuma, the middleman in the assassination, has lied about the role of Joseph Muscat’s former right-hand man, Keith Schembri, in the murder. 

“Theuma has given false testimony by repeatedly confirming untruths... everything he has declared about Yorgen Fenech of his involvement in the Caruana Galizia homicide is a lie from beginning to end,” the lawyers said.  

Lawyers Gianluca Caruana Curran and Charles Mercieca filed a criminal complaint in which they accused Theuma of committing perjury in court with testimony that is contradicted by the secret recordings of him in conversation with Johann Cremona, a business associate of Yorgen Fenech. 

Theuma was granted a presidential pardon in November 2019 in return for his testimony against Fenech and the men he enrolled to carry out the murder of the journalist. 

According to the lawyers, Theuma repeatedly mentioned Keith Schembri in a conversation with Cremona which he recorded on his mobile phone, but then denied Schembri’s involvement in the assassination in court. 

Yet in court, Theuma denied the involvement of businessman Schembri in the commissioning of Caruana Galizia’s murder, who revealed his secret offshore companies and the existence of 17 Black, later revealed to be Yorgen Fenech’s secret company and conduit for millions to be paid to Schembri’s offshore company. 

According to the secretly-recorded conversations reproduced in the criminal complaint, Theuma is heard name-dropping Schembri: “Has Keith Schembri forgotten when he sent over Kenneth [Camilleri] outside my house at 8pm? I’ll show him... has Keith Schembri what he had told them? They’ll be out on the 22nd... one million to each of them... with Kenneth, in front of you.” 

The lawyers say that in other recordings, Theuma is heard telling Yorgen Fenech himself that he was met by Kenneth Camilleri at Keith Schembri’s request, and that he heard Schembri speaking on the phone. 

In these recordings Theuma is heard saying: “They’re trying to trap me from all sides with their betrayal... if he doesn’t come to speak to me face to face we’re going to have trouble. I’ll go up to him stark naked, I’ll tell Keith ‘come here you hunchback’... ‘have you forgotten when you cried that they would be arrested before they kill her for you?’” 


Additionally, the lawyers say that the recordings show both Theuma and Cremona were knowledgeable of the masterminds in the Caruana Galizia homicide, the police investigations, the role played by former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar, as well as of the potential pardon Theuma would receive on the Caruana Galizia homicide. 

The lawyers quote recordings in which Cremona actively encourages Theuma to stay close to his tapes, in full knowledge that he would leverage the evidence in return for a presidential pardon. “Johann Cremona and Melvin Theuma had a much deeper relationship than that he has claimed in court. The same can be said of Theuma and Edwin Brincat. Both men passed on confidential information to Theuma,” the lawyers said in their complaint. 

They refer to a Security Services phone interception in which Brincat ‘il-Ġojja’, a long-time confidant of Theuma, is heard coaching Theuma into name-dropping Yorgen Fenech in his secret recordings; and other phone conversations with Cremona where former police commissioner Lawrence Cutajar is mentioned. 

“These are only the recordings discovered by the inquiring magistrate and the defence,” Fenech’s lawyers said. 

“The plaintiff is certain that other recordings were destroyed by Theuma – in one recording Theuma is heard giving such instructions to (his partner’s daughter) Shianne Zammit – or others have not yet been revealed to the defence by the police investigators.” 

The lawyers say that Theuma in court had denied knowing who was financing the assassination, but that the secret recordings indicate that Cremona had told him who had paid the Degiorgio brothers €350,000: “He collected €100,000... Alfred and George don’t know them... he got them from the freemasons,” Cremona is quoted as saying. “And Arthur didn’t even given them to Koħħu?” Theuma replies, referencing the accused Vincent Muscat il-Koħħu and his former lawyer Arthur Azzopardi. 

In another quoted phone conversation, Theuma is heard saying: “Koħħu got €300,000... the cash is still at Arthur Azzopardi.” 

The lawyers also say that Theuma is heard saying in his recordings that there are four people involved in the assassination and that he knows that former Labour minister Chris Cardona is involved in the plot, but that Cardona “knows too much on the Degiorgios for them to shop him”. 

“The version of events Theuma gave under oath was stated before the revelation of the recordings with Johann Cremona, which recordings Theuma believed had been deleted for good,” the lawyers said in their complaint. “So it is clear that Theuma is knowledgeable of events that he deliberately neglected to tell the Court under oath, which is itself enough for him to be found guilty of perjury and false testimony.” 

Theuma was also said to have denied knowing which of his properties would be raided in an impending money laundering raid in 2019 that police had intended to carry out after his name had been revealed to Interpol investigators assisting in the Caruana Galizia investigation. 

According to court testimony, Theuma stated that Cremona had only once mentioned his barn (remissa) and that he had denied knowing which of his properties police would raid. 

Yet in phone recordings quoted by the lawyers, Cremona is heard telling Theuma: “You tell him you’ve been told where you’ll be raided at... tell him Qormi, Żurrieq and Wied il-Għajn... are they going to involve other people in the story?” Theuma replied: “Charmaine?”, referring to his partner’s home. “Call Kenneth, Joh,” Theuma implores. 

Cremona then says he will warn Camilleri that Theuma will tell the police everything he knows. “I’ll say... ‘that guy’s determined, he will not be arrested... he’s determined that he will spill the beans if he gets raided, you can do it whenever you want.’” 

In another phone conversation quoted by the lawyers, Cremona is heard assuring Theuma that he had spoken to Camilleri about the raids. “I warned them yesterday... I told Kenneth to change those two places... I told Kenneth, one, two... no women get involved.” 

In another segment of the complaint, the lawyers say they challenged Theuma in court about an alleged €30,000 paid by Edwin Brincat il-Ġojja to former police chief Lawrence Cutajar. Yet the quoted recordings of this conversation were not allowed to be played to the witness at the time of counter-examination. According to this recorded conversation, cited in the police complaint, Theuma speaks of the bribe he was to pass on to Brincat, to give to Cutajar; as well as claiming that Cutajar himself told him that Interpol want him investigated on money laundering breaches.